Unions will join with the local Myanmar community in a show of solidarity for the popular movement for democracy in Myanmar.
A military coup on 1 February 2021 deposed the elected government and has led to massive public opposition. The military response to the protests, civil disobedience and general strikes has so far left thousands injured and more than 750 dead [AAPP], including many young protesters killed by a single gunshot to the head. It is estimated that the civil disruption has closed down 91% of government activity.
Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and Trustee of UnionAID, Melissa Ansell-Bridges is encouraging people to attend. "We are part of an international community supporting the people of Myanmar who are determined to see the coup overthrown and democracy restored. Support for the civil disobedience movement in Myanmar is vital. It is working, and it is our best hope for the restoration of democracy. The NZCTU has been calling on our government to take further steps to ensure the military dictatorship is not in any way endorsed by our government."
Tin Ma Ma Oo is the spokesperson for the working group on Democracy for Myanmar,"We are devastated with the way world leaders are handling Myanmar's situation. As a role model in effective leadership, we are calling on our New Zealand Government to work fast to isolate the Myanmar military, and engage with the pro-democracy movement and its leaders - the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG). The time for symbolic statements is over, we call for action."
"It is expected that there will be strong support for the rally from Aucklanders, especially the many people of different Myanmar ethnicities that call Auckland home," Melissa Ansell-Bridges said. UnionAID has close links with Myanmar through a decade-long young leaders programme that has supported the transition to democracy, and its partnerships with the country’s developing union movement.